Construction projects require coordination between engineers, architects, subcontractors and workers. In addition, there are legal regulations that must be followed, including safety, labor and building codes. Construction project managers bear most of the responsibility for ensuring that the project complies with all codes and laws, stays within budget and keeps to the required schedule.
Average Salary Nationwide:
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that as of May 2011, the average income for construction managers was $93,900 per year. The lowest 10 percent earned no more than $50,650 annually. The highest paid 10 percent earned $149,070 or more per year.
States with Highest Average Salaries:
Location can play an important part in the wages paid for any occupation, including construction project managers. According to the BLS, the state with the highest average salaries for the profession is New York, at $128,170 per year. In New Jersey, construction managers earned an average of $125,790 per year, and in Rhode Island they averaged $124,650. The average salary was $111,860 in the District of Columbia and $111,350 in Alaska.
Salary Data by Industry:
As of May 2011, companies involved in computer systems design services paid the highest salaries to construction project managers at an average annual wage of $136,770. Construction managers engaged in building accommodations for travelers earned an average of $130,510 per year. Those involved in building arcades and amusement parks averaged $125,980 per year. The majority of the nation’s construction managers were engaged nonresidential construction and earned an average of $94,450 per year.
Becoming a Construction Project Manager:
According to the BLS, some project managers have only a high school diploma coupled with extensive experience in a related trade. The trend is to hire applicants with experience as well as a four-year degree in a relevant field such as architecture, construction science, engineering and construction management. Two-year degrees in construction technology or construction management are acceptable to some employers if the applicant also has experience in a trade such as bricklaying or carpentry. Experience as a subcontractor, intern or assistant construction manager is also beneficial. Certification is not mandatory, but passing the exams administered by the Construction Management Association of America or the American Institute of Constructors can be helpful.
Job Outlook for Construction Managers:
The BLS predicts that the number of construction management jobs will grow 17 percent during the decade ending in 2020. New construction will account for part of the growth, but some managers will find employment renovating existing structures. In addition, construction project managers will be needed to replace or upgrade sewers, bridges, roads and other infrastructure.